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The Falconer of God

 I flung my soul to the air like a falcon flying.
I said, "Wait on, wait on, while I ride below! I shall start a heron soon In the marsh beneath the moon -- A strange white heron rising with silver on its wings, Rising and crying Wordless, wondrous things; The secret of the stars, of the world's heart-strings, The answer to their woe.
Then stoop thou upon him, and grip and hold him so!" My wild soul waited on as falcons hover.
I beat the reedy fens as I trampled past.
I heard the mournful loon In the marsh beneath the moon.
And then -- with feathery thunder -- the bird of my desire Broke from the cover Flashing silver fire.
High up among the stars I saw his pinions spire.
The pale clouds gazed aghast As my falcon stoopt upon him, and gript and held him fast.
My soul dropt through the air -- with heavenly plunder? -- Gripping the dazzling bird my dreaming knew? Nay! but a piteous freight, A dark and heavy weight Despoiled of silver plumage, its voice forever stilled, -- All of the wonder Gone that ever filled Its guise with glory.
Oh, bird that I have killed, How brilliantly you flew Across my rapturous vision when first I dreamed of you! Yet I fling my soul on high with new endeavor, And I ride the world below with a joyful mind.
I shall start a heron soon In the marsh beneath the moon -- A wondrous silver heron its inner darkness fledges! I beat forever The fens and the sedges.
The pledge is still the same -- for all disastrous pledges, All hopes resigned! My soul still flies above me for the quarry it shall find.

by William Rose Benet
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